Eleven Member States exceed air emissions limits under LRTAP Convention
Emissions of most air pollutants have fallen over the last two decades in Europe. But many Member States have exceeded internationally-agreed pollutant limits set to protect human health and the environment, according to a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA). Road transport, households, power plants, agricultural activities and certain industry sectors continue to emit significant amounts of air pollution.
In 1999, many of the countries that now comprise the European Union committed to cut emissions of air pollutants under the Gothenburg Protocol of the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP Convention). The EEA’s annual “European Union emission inventory report 1990-2010 under the UNECE LRTAP Convention” presents a summary of the main emission trends over the past decades. It shows that 11 countries exceeded the 2010 ‘ceilings’ for the four important air pollutants regulated under the Protocol. These pollutants can lead to breathing problems, acid rain and eutrophication.
“In the last two decades we have cut the amount of pollution going into Europe’s air,” EEA Executive Director Jacqueline McGlade said. “Regulation both in the EU and internationally works when it is properly implemented. The fact that many countries missed their emissions ceilings in 2010 shows we need to continue our efforts to safeguard European citizens’ health.”